The Mountaineers took care of business on Saturday afternoon and head coach Neal Brown met with the media afterward to discuss his team’s big win.
The second play from scrimmage for the Mountaineers saw Leddie Brown take a handoff 80 yards for the early touchdown. Overall on the day, West Virginia ran the ball well finishing with 180 rushing yards as opposed to Virginia Tech’s 101 yards on the ground.
“We really ran the football well for three quarters and that was a huge piece, if you look at it, having 173 yards rushing I thought that was big and then explosive plays which we had several in the second and third quarter,” Brown said.
An unsung hero Mountaineer this season without a doubt is safety Malachi Ruffin who earned a full scholarship before the season began in August. Brown pointed out Ruffin’s exceptional play on Saturday after collecting a pair of tackles.
“They hit a big kickoff return and then Malachi Ruffin chases the guy down, makes the tackle and at the time nobody kind of thought about it, they’re probably in a position, probably going to score a touchdown anyway, well lone behold here we go Malachi Ruffin really saves it,” Brown said. “Now we know that was a huge play in the game.”
Brown also went into detail about how much of a difference the West Virginia faithful made in his team’s victory and the atmosphere inside the stadium.
“Winning’s hard, we talked about it before the game I thought this was going to be a defining moment for us, for this team, where we’re at, we had home team here, the crowd was electric we appreciate them,” Brown said. “They made a difference, I thought they really made a difference early and they made a difference late, in that final drive they had a hard time communicating.”
The Hokies defensive attack was nothing that the Mountaineers offense couldn’t handle as Brown explained that they were mainly applying pressure on West Virginia’s backfield from the edges.
“They were blitzing off both edges, so they did a good job coming off, we got in some bad down and distance,” Brown said. “I think that’s fair, we may have taken it out of there too early… the only thing they did differently defensively is they really compressed us from the edge with the edge pressure.”
The West Virginia defense surely pleased Brown as he said the way his defense played against Virginia Tech is the best he’s seen them play all year so far, particularly in the red zone like the final stop to win the game.
“In the red zone we did some really good things, I thought outside of a few plays, that’s the best job we’ve done rushing the passer and it’s the best job we’ve done at all three levels playing quality team defense,” Brown said.
The Mountaineers again experimented with Garrett Greene at the quarterback position mainly rushing the football alongside Jarret Doege’s under center passing work.
“The under center stuff I think fits us, it was a little bit of a changeup, our running numbers were okay last week against Long Island but we kind of know what that is,” Brown said. “So we were kind of looking for a changeup and we felt like getting under center we could get downhill, these guys are good on defense look what they did against North Carolina.”